Amethyst glanced around the room, able to walk freely inside, now that the field was gone. The space was quite well lit, as if it wasn't abandoned and that it could have been occupied as recently as several hours ago. For some reason, the thought made her uncomfortable.
Swallowing, she stepped passed the door's threshold, hefting her whip at her side, it's familiar weight assuring her.
"Hello, anybody here?" she called out. She doubted anyone still occupied the place...at least not anyone with all their senses, she thought recalling the monster-like roaring.
As she walked farther in, she noticed much of the machinery inside the room was frosted over. Gazing upward, stalagmites of ice trailed downard from the ceiling as if raindrops fell and froze mid flight.
"Looks like somebody forgot to turn off the A/C," Amethyst laughed nervously. The ground decided to shake again, but no roar this time. That little detail seemed to make the situation even more unsettling. Although the lights were lit and no dust could be seen anywhere, it was deathly quiet. No whirring of machines, nothing.
Amethyst tightened her grip.
Being a gem, it wasn't too hard to ignore the change in temperature, bit even she found it weird that snow began to fall...indoors.
"Maaan..." Amethyst groaned in anmoyance, hoping to quickly find whatever the disturbance was.
The purple gem started at the sound of her name being called. She'd almost forgotten the two followed her down here. But it was too late for her to backtrack now, in her mind.
Forcefully ignoring the snow, the calls, the temperature - Geez, why was it so cold in here?!
Amethyst realized she had broke into a jog and forced herself to slow back down to a walk. Besides, she heard something.
Footsteps. And not just footsteps because Steven and Peridot were down there too; it sounded like something big was moving around somewhere. Definitely a corrupted gem.
"Hey, monster! Come out here and fight me!" she challenged. It was a pretty safe assumption that the beast didn't even understand what she was saying, but maybe it'd get agitated at the constant yelling.
"Huh. Guess it-" Amethyst was cut off by a torrent of snow that had enough force to rival a tidal wave. Because of the cluttered interior, she had collided with one of the deactivated machines rather than a wall. The defunct device had a flat vertical surface, fortunately sparing her from any extensive injury.
At some point when she got hit by the indoor avalanche, she lost her grip on her weapon, quickly materializing a new one. The footsteps were resounding now, made noisier by the snow that was now blanketing the whole room.
Tucking into herself, Amethyst burst out of the snow like a comet, her hair ablaze. Some of the snow melted in response to the extreme heat, affording her a small space to move around in.
Scanning the area, she watched the snow for just the slightest movement.
"Gotcha!" she shouted, channeling violet flames into her whip. It cracked towards where she was looking, a small movement as if something was shuffling through it. The flames blasted outwards from the whip, melting even more of the snow.
A pained roar, louder than all of the ones previous, rang out, suprising her with how close the beast actually was to her. A large shape burst from the sea of snow. It's single eye, positioned at the center of it's feline-like face glaring at her as if offended. It's tail flared, and it was evident it was thick with illusiory muscle. At the tail's tip was what looked like a shard of ice. The rest of it's body was clothed in a snow tinted fur, giving an aesthetic of snow tipped hair.
Amethyst sniffed, readying her swinging arm again. Once she took down this gem monster, Peridot and Steven would have to be impressed by that, wouldn't they? She smirked mischievously.
The feline growled threateningly, it's back tensing up, it's frame ready to pounce, like an angry and irritated mutant cat.
It's speed was a blur. Amethyst knew it's tail was serious business, as it was about twice the width of her arm. Leaping sideways, she evaded the surprisingly fast swing of the Snow Leopard - she thought it was a fitting name - it's tail missing her by just a hair's length. She could feel the push of the wind as it's prehensile limb cleaved through the air.
"Yeesh, stayin' away from that thing!" she declared, swinging her whip in a wide arc. Her eyes widened though, when the beast lowered itself deliberately, and leapt to the left, not only remaining clear of her initial swing, but her second one as well, well before she even had the chance to telegraph her attack.
"What the heck, yo?!" she called out, frustrated. Not letting up, the gem monster charged at her, juking sideways well in advance of her vertical swing. The Snow Leopard collided headfirst with her, just missing her gem. Flying backwards from the surprising force, Amethyst staggered to her feet.
The Quartz began to wonder if she was fighting a corrupted Sapphire. The gem monster was evading her attacks as if she might as well been moving at a snail's pace.
Amethyst glanced behind her to spot Steven and Peridot attempting to trudge through the thick snow that lie between the room's entrance and the impromptu arena.
The gem monster growled threateningly, it's back arched upward. Amethyst exhaled forcefully. Even if the other two could make it over to her, the leopard wasn't going to wait around.
That feeling of hopelessness began to creep up on her again. And with it was a sensation she was all too familiar with. Frustration and anger was bubbling just below the surface. She had one plan left. She took one step back, then charged forward straight at the gem monster. It managed to evade as she suspected it would, but she had a plan in mind. The moment it dodged, Amethyst tucked into herself, changing trajectory almost instantly, ramming into the gem feline with the force of a speeding vehicle.
The monster let out a surprised whine, landing bodily several meters away.
Peridot and Steven were nearly there now, having made it through the thickest of the snow. The teen wasn't sure why Amethyst was fighting so ferociously. Any other time, he'd be impressed, but he was worried she was acting the way she did when confronted with Jasper the first few times, like she had something to prove.
It seemed although, that Amethyst had the upper hand. She managed to knock the gem monster off it's feet, but he prepared his shield just in case. Peridot stood next to Steven, spectating the battle along with him.
"Is Amethyst going to be okay?" Steven asked the certified Kindergardener, concern visible on his face.
"Well, she's holding up well, all things considered," she replied. "I think that gem monster is a Sapphire," she said by way of explanation.
"A sapphire?" Steven furrowed a brow. "You don't think that gem has future vision, do you?"
Peridot could only shrug.
A resounding crash wrenched their attention back to the fight, only to see the monster blasting what could only be described as a wave of cold at the purple Quartz.
Steven abd Peridot gasped. Amethyst was totally unprepared, the wave of cold so large, that it enveloped Amethyst's form.
Acting on instinct, Steven flung his shield with as much force as possible. "Boomerang Shield!" he cried, the sound cutting short the monster's offense, as distracting as it was. The shield collided with the beast's face, hitting it so hard it corkscrewed in the air. But it wasn't enough to disrupt it's form. It scrambled back to it's feet, only for a large support beam dropped from the ceiling to land roughly on it. For a second it stood still, and then it's body exploded into particles, a small sapphire gemstone with a side consisting of jagged edges. Apparently the tip of the beast's tail was it's gem.
Steven looked appreciatively at Peridot for the save.
"That's not good," Peridot muttered, walking in the direction of the poofed gem. Peridot bubbled it after a pause, and Steven realized what she was talking about.
"Oh no..." Steven uttered. He rushed over to the second gemstone lying across from the bubbled Sapphire where the gem monster's final attack hit. Scattered sheets of ice surrounded the area, and frost was stuck even to Amethyst's inert gemstone.
Panicking, Steven rushed to retrieve it, only to recoil in pain at the sheer cold emanating from the stone. At this point, Amethyst would have reformed by now. He knew objects tended to break if they froze over, leaving him full of anxiety at the state of Amethyst's gem. Hurriedly, he bubbled it, his hands being chilled even through the transparent film of the bubble. The observation made him worry even more.
Peridot tapped the bubble of the Sapphire, and it was whisked away.
"Will Amethyst be okay?" Steven queried, observing their bubbled friend as best he could. The frost covered most of the gem, making it look almost lifeless. "Do gems get hurt if their gems get frozen?"
Peridot didn't know the answer for certain. "Well, in theory, no. But it's probably best we get back to the temple," she suggested. Steven nodded, forlorn.